What happened

Shares of The Greenbrier Companies (NYSE:GBX) soared on Friday after the railcar manufacturer reported fiscal third-quarter results that blew past analyst estimates. The company also updated investors on its liquidity situation and detailed its efforts to cut costs. The stock was up about 21.7% at 11:30 a.m. EDT.

So what

Greenbrier reported third-quarter revenue of $762.6 million, down 10.9% year over year but $156.1 million higher than the average analyst estimate. The manufacturing segment was the best performer, with revenue of $653 million, down just 4.2% from the prior-year period.

A rising chart

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Earnings per share came in at $0.83, up from $0.46 in the third quarter of last year and $0.78 ahead of analyst expectations. Greenbrier cut costs by closing 11 rail production lines and reducing its head count in North America by roughly 40%.

Greenbrier now has approximately $1 billion of liquidity available, which includes $735 million of cash. The company will continue to pay its quarterly dividend, with the next per-share payment of $0.27 payable on Aug. 19.

Now what

Greenbrier is in surprisingly good shape despite the pandemic. The company has a backlog of 26,700 new railcars worth $2.7 billion, which will leave it with minimal open production capacity for the rest of the calendar year.

Greenbrier operates in a cyclical industry, and the U.S. economy is facing extreme uncertainty. Things can change quickly for Greenbrier, but for now, investors are happy with the company's results.